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January 31, 2022

Digital platform to facilitate textile-to-textile recycling

A new open access digital platform has launched to help circular system actors find required services and enable the scaleup of the circular economy.

By Beth Wright

With the backing of Accelerating Circularity, Fashion for Good, Global Fashion Agenda’s Circular Fashion Partnership, Reverse Resources, SMART, and WRAP, the Reverse Resources platform is launching for collectors, sorters, and pre-processors to facilitate textile-to-textile recycling.

Specifically, the Reverse Resources platform is designed to create the infrastructure to enable the recycling of post-consumer textile waste. It will now be able to house information on collectors, sorters, pre-processors, locations, services, and volumes.  The tool is designed to be open access allowing circular system actors to find required services. Reverse Resource’s initial digital platform is said to have made significant headway in the post-industrial textile waste industry – linking recyclers with manufacturer’s information to increase the transparency of availability of post-industrial materials – thus leading to greater circularity.  The expanded digital platform will develop information on the availability and access to post-consumer materials for all industry actors.

“Reverse Resources is a tracking and trading platform for textile and post-consumer waste, providing 360-degree transparency of the waste flows. We match the supply and demand, break down market barriers, shorten supply chains, thereby increasing value along the way,” says Ann Runnel, founder and CEO of Reverse Resources. “Our mission is to help to bring down the cost of recycling to support the scale-up of the circular economy. The more industry members that participate, the more we can create economies of scale.”

Over the past two years, Global Fashion Agenda has worked closely with Reverse Resources to engage global brands, manufacturers in Bangladesh, and recyclers to develop the platform for post-industrial textile waste. A key unlock to circular fashion systems is increasing transparency and traceability of waste feedstocks and matchmaking waste types, to recycling solutions, according to Global Fashion Agenda CEO, Federica Marchionni.

Karla Magruder, founder and president of Accelerating Circularity, adds: “This is one of the first of many open-sourced digital tools we hope to see in the market that will allow the industry to move forward on its circularity goals.  The industry needs the information that will be housed in the platform, on what services and materials are available when it comes to post-consumer textiles available for textile-to-textile recycling.”

The platform is being piloted with several large collectors, sorters, and pre-processors who have been participating in the Accelerating Circularity Project Europe, Global Fashion Agenda’s Circular Fashion Partnership in Bangladesh, and Fashion for Good’s Sorting for Circularity India Project. Ultimately the goal of the platform is to more effectively and economically allow for the recycling of post-consumer waste that goes to landfills annually.

“To achieve circularity, we need to collectively develop innovative business models, which require new digital systems, infrastructure, and collaborations. We are all aligned on the same objective to drive progress so working together to facilitate that through collaborative technology platforms makes sense,”  says Katrin Ley, manager director of Fashion for Good.

Cat Salvidge, sustainable textiles sector specialist at WRAP, adds: “WRAP is pleased to support the development of this platform via our connections with the UK textile reuse & recycling sector. Digital platforms will create the transparency needed for more circular textile industry. Circularity is key to WRAP’s new voluntary agreement for a more sustainable textiles industry, Textiles 2030, so this collaboration comes at a great time”.

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